Get A Free Consultation

With NJ’s Best Personal Injury Legal Team.

Call Now 📞


Brake Check Accident

Brake check accident - two cars involved in a front-end collision at an intersection, with traffic lights visible in the background.

A brake check accident occurs when a driver abruptly stops to warn or retaliate against a tailgater, often leading to a rear-end collision and serious injuries. Proving liability in these cases is complex but essential for seeking compensation. This guide explores the implications, fault determination, and steps to take after such incidents.

Related: Best NJ Traffic Accident Attorney

Understanding Brake Checking

A rear-end collision between two cars on a suburban road, with the rear car having visible damage on the front bumper.

Commonly seen in aggressive driving scenarios, a ‘brake check’ refers to the act of a motorist abruptly slamming on their brakes to cause a trailing vehicle, often a tailgater, to do the same in an attempt to avoid a collision.

This reckless act is the cause of many rear-end collisions, leading to a considerable number of personal injury cases each year.

Typically, there’s a presumption of fault in a brake check, as it puts the following motorist in an unsafe situation, increasing the chances of a car accident.

Determining the party at fault in a brake check accident can prove challenging without adequate evidence.

It’s commonly misconceived that the following driver is always to blame in a rear-end collision.

Car accident lawyers often tackle such assertions, pointing out instances where the lead driver’s intentional reckless actions, such as a brake check, caused the accident.

In these cases, the aid of an accident lawyer or attorney with expertise in such matters is vital to effectively contest liability in court.

Is Brake Checking Illegal?

Brake checking, categorized as a form of aggressive driving and often as an act of road rage, finds itself in a murky legal area.

While the action itself is not explicitly deemed illegal in many jurisdictions, a driver may unintentionally invite the ire of the law if their reckless conduct leads to an auto or motorcycle accident.

When determining the at-fault party in the aftermath of a rear-end crash, typically, the driver behind is held responsible.

This is because they are often considered negligent for following too closely, disregarding the basic rule of maintaining a safe stopping distance.

However, the complexity of these situations often necessitates the aid of a car accident attorney or a personal injury lawyer.

These professionals can scrutinize the specifics of the accident and the regulations within the jurisdiction, offering a free consultation to evaluate the feasibility of an injury claim.

If it is revealed that brake checking by another driver was the primary cause of the accident, the victim could potentially recover compensation for their distress.

Although this area of law offers no clear-cut answers, it demonstrates the dire consequences of engaging in reckless driving behaviors on the road.

Common Injuries from Brake Check Accidents

Two cars on a highway, with the front car suddenly braking and the rear car close behind, about to collide.

When an aggressive tailgating driver forces the driver in front into a defensive situation, commonly referred to as brake checking in casual conversation, the outcome can not only lead to property damage but also serious personal injury.

Accidents caused by brake checking are unfortunately widespread and induce a myriad of injuries: from minor cuts and bruises to major spinal injuries and traumatic brain injuries in more severe instances.

The reckless behavior of the at-fault driver can drastically change the life of the victim, opening up avenues to file a personal injury claim to cover medical expenses, rehabilitative costs, lost wages, and emotional distress.

Making a personal injury claim, however, involves nuances and complexities that need the expertise of a seasoned law group.

Experienced car accident attorneys can navigate the labyrinthine legal landscape, exploring all legal options and holding the liable party responsible for accidents caused by brake checking.

Since brake checking is illegal in most jurisdictions, including New York (hence the term ‘brake checking in New York’), the driver found intentionally causing the accident can be held liable.

Despite this, insurance companies might argue a comparative negligence model, suggesting that the victim had a contributing role in the incident.

Thus, it falls upon the law group to dismantle such claims, demonstrating that the at-fault driver’s reckless behavior was the primary contributor to the accident.

Determining Fault in Brake Check Accidents

A close-up of a car's rear bumper with a slight dent, indicating a recent minor accident.

In many situations, the car behind is commonly assigned at least a certain degree of fault for a rear-end accident.

The underlying principle is, that a trailing driver should always maintain a safe distance allowing ample time to react should the car in front brake suddenly.

However, they’re not always 100% at fault. If you were involved in a brake check incident, where another car deliberately caused you to collide by aggressively using their brakes, a car accident lawyer can help you prove that you are not entirely at fault for the accident.

Liability in an accident involving brake checking isn’t as straightforward as it may seem.

While brake checking is illegal in many jurisdictions, when it comes to determining fault for the crash, it often boils down to which driver’s actions were more negligent.

A common misconception is that a driver that rear-ends another car is always at fault, but a percentage of fault can also be attributed to the leading driver if they brake check another.

As such, if you’re injured due to someone else’s aggressive driving, consulting an experienced car accident attorney can assist in navigating the complexities of your accident claim and potentially shift a portion of the blame away from you.
• A car accident lawyer can help you establish that the brake check incident wasn’t entirely your fault. They will gather evidence and build a case to prove that the other driver’s aggressive braking was responsible for causing the collision.

• Keep in mind, however, that proving liability in such cases is not always straightforward. The court will consider which driver’s actions were more negligent and assign blame accordingly.

• Despite common misconceptions, it isn’t always true that the trailing vehicle is at fault in a rear-end collision. If there’s proof of brake checking by the leading vehicle, they may also be held partly responsible for the crash.

• It’s crucial to note that brake checking is illegal in many areas due to its potential to cause accidents intentionally; therefore, if someone deliberately causes an accident through this action, they could face legal consequences.

• Consulting with an experienced car accident attorney can greatly benefit those injured due to another person’s aggressive driving. These professionals are well-versed in handling such claims and can guide victims through complex legal processes.

• An attorney will work towards shifting part or all of the blame away from you by presenting strong arguments supported by solid evidence before a court of law or during negotiations with insurance companies.

In conclusion:

• Don’t assume you’re automatically at fault if involved in a rear-end collision caused by sudden braking from another motorist.

• Always seek professional advice from an experienced car accident lawyer who understands how these situations unfold legally.


• Your safety should be your top priority; avoid engaging with drivers who exhibit reckless behavior on roads as it may lead to unnecessary accidents and injuries.

• Report any incidents of aggressive driving or deliberate brake-checking immediately so authorities can take necessary actions against offending motorists.

Proving a Brake Check Incident

A car braking suddenly on a city street, with a following car just behind and screeching to a stop.

In many instances, one driver might brake-check another, forcing an abrupt stop that can lead to a rear-end crash.

The sudden braking action related to incidents like brake checking often brings about serious injuries.

It’s crucial to note that proving the other driver’s liability for the accident can be complex but is essential when seeking compensation for injuries caused due to brake-checking accidents.

With the inherent difficulty in establishing someone as responsible for the accident, it is noteworthy to remember that even if you were partially at fault, you could still file a claim.

Work with a legal professional to help you prove fault for a rear-end crash due to brake testing.

They can assist in gathering critical car accident evidence to prove that the other driver intentionally caused the accident.

The evidence might include witness testimonies, video footage, and accident reconstruction reports.

This evidence could then be used in a lawsuit against the at-fault party, aiming to recover damages for any serious injuries you’ve sustained.

Having a deeper understanding of these tricky situations can also help; therefore, it’s essential to learn more about brake checking.

Steps to Take After a Brake Check Accident

Whether a driver is found to share some fault in a car crash caused by brake checking can greatly impact the legal proceedings following the accident.

In essence, determining fault becomes vital to navigating the complexities of injury law.

When a car in front brakes suddenly to get the car behind to back off, the accident may occur because the car behind may not have enough time to react.

Such circumstances are complicated because while brake checking is seen as a deliberate act to endanger someone, tailgating too, is illegal and can be seen as a contributory factor to the incident.

After ensuring everyone is safe and calling the necessary authorities to the accident scene, it is crucial to gather as much evidence as possible.

Photographs, eyewitness statements, and even dashcam footage can be soaringly helpful in such cases.

There is a possibility that even if a driver is found to share some fault, they could still get the compensation they deserve, especially if the crash caused significant injuries.

Therefore, hiring a seasoned injury law attorney and scheduling a free consultation could increase the likelihood of justice served.

It is essential to understand that steps taken right after a car crash can greatly influence the outcomes of the claim.

Contact Lord, Kobrin, Alvarez, and Fattell for a FREE consultation.
Our dedicated team is ready to fight for your rights.

Start typing and press Enter to search